Canyon’s Beauty Lost in the Discussion



One of the public comments at the last City Council meeting addressed William Wendt’s appreciation of beauty (as it relates to the village entrance project), which seemed to conjure images of conflicting views on beauty in Laguna Beach.  An excellent essay by Will South in Laguna Art Museum’s catalogue of Wendt’s works states that Wendt had a disdain for Laguna’s summer crowds and artist fairs.  South commented on Wendt’s desire to paint nature, not man-made intrusions on nature.

So think about William Wendt driving down Laguna Canyon today with its mish-mash of utility lines, buildings, driveways, and parking areas.  Think of his desire to capture nature as it existed before we bungled it with power lines and other intrusions that have made the canyon into a visual hellhole.

Look at the continuum of summer’s parked vehicles past Canyon Acres without sidewalks. Look at the bare parking areas between Tivoli Too and Forest Avenue and ponder why the city hasn’t built a screen wall or added some landscaping to beautify this area for a few thousand bucks. And don’t forget the massive Edison substation across from the Sawdust Festival. Ponder how the ill-conceived $65 million concrete parking garage will improve the overall view between the Edison Substation and Forest Avenue. Finally, ask how pro-garage voters can promulgate the view that this over-priced garage with a few trees will improve and beautify the drive along the Laguna Canyon from Canyon Acres to Coast Highway?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it?  If a majority of the voters want to spend $65 million, great!  Are the three autocrats on the council afraid of the vote’s outcome by 14,406 voters (14,409 less the three)?  Do we really have to put an initiative on the ballot to force a vote? Really?

Come on council, let laguna vote on the village entrance project and get it over with.

Victor Opincar, 
Laguna Beach


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